In this activity students will bring together what they learned in the previous activities to identify objects on the horizon and in the sky overhead.
- Writing utensils
- Position your students in small groups at the cardinal points of the compass rose on the playground.
- From each point, have your students record what they see from their horizon and at intervals of 15 degrees until they reach the zenith. They should use their recording device from Activity 2 as a guide when determining the angles.
- Have your students rotate around the cardinal points of the compass rose until all directions have been observed and recorded.
When you get back to the classroom, ask your students to use their drawing to answer the following questions.
- What are some of the objects you saw?
- Were the objects stationary or moving?
- What kinds of objects were stationary?
- What kinds of objects were moving?
Students should answer the following questions in their journals and be prepared to discuss their answers in class.
- Was the moon visible?
- If so in what direction did you see it and at what degrees on your recording device?
- Did everyone in your class see the same things at every location?
At this point it may be helpful to your students if you review the definitions of altitude and azimuth again.
Altitude: an angle, not a distance or height. It is the angle that is measured from the edge of the horizon along a great circle that passes through the zenith or point directly overhead. It is always 90 degrees or less.
Azimuth: the compass rose goes around through the east through 360 degrees. The azimuth is the angle of the compass rose around the horizon from the north pole through the east, south, and west to the north again. Ask your students which measurements they made were measuring altitude and which were measuring azimuth.
On the first clear night, have your students go on to Unit I Activity 5.
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